Monsoon 1% below normal so far; to hit Mumbai by Monday

The south-west monsoon will arrive in Mumbai by Monday, more or less on time, the India Meteorological Department said today.

India's financial capital has already been seeing a fair number of pre-monsoon showers for the last couple of days, which intensified on Friday, with traffic jams and delayed trains.

Pan-India, rainfall has been just 1 per cent below normal in the first monsoon week ended 6 June, the IMD said in a statement from New Delhi.

The country 'normally' receives 19.9 mm of rainfall during the first week of the four-month southwest monsoon season that starts on 1 June. This year it received 19.6 mm of rainfall.

Last year, rainfall in the first week of the season was more than 30 per cent below normal.

Looking ahead, the IMD said that conditions are favourable for the further advance of the monsoon over East and North-East India, south Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, and the remaining parts of Odisha during the second week that will end on 14 June.

This should be music to the ears of the government, as it improves its chances of curbing inflation.

Ahead of its mid-quarter policy on 17 June, Reserve Bank of India governor Duruvvi Subbarao today said its monetary actions in the coming months will be determined by the "monsoon outlook".

The met office said that the rains which enter the country from the Kerala coast have so far been 62 per cent above normal in the southern peninsula, which comprises the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh;  3 per cent below normal in central India,  which comprises Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat; and 19 per cent below normal in northwest India, which comprises Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.